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    Governance Manual for Community

    & Comprehensive


  • 1

    Community and Comprehensive Schools

    Governance Manual


    Section Page

    1. Introduction 3

    2. Responsibilities of the Board of Management 5

    3. The Protected Disclosures Act 2014 17

    4. Registration with the Charities Regulatory Authority 17

    5. Energy Management in Schools 18

    6. Allocation of Funding and Teaching Resources 19

    7. Estimating Funding 23

    8. Monitoring of Teacher allocation & Budgets 24

    9. Financial Returns 26

    10. Audit 30

    11. Accounting System 32

    12. School Internal Controls 33

    13. Purchasing 36

    14. Procurement Procedures 39

    15. Stock Control 41

    16. Control over Assets 42

    17. Receipts 43

    18. Payments 44

    19. Petty Cash 46

    20. Bank Accounts 47

    21. Banking Arrangements including Bank Overdrafts, Other Borrowing and Leasing 49

    22. Payroll 50

    23. Travel and Subsistence 52

    24. Use of School Facilities by Outside Bodies 53

    25. Insurance arrangements for Community & Comprehensive Schools 56

    26. Sports Complexes 57

    27. Book Grant Scheme 58

    28. Book Rental Scheme 60

    29. Other Activities including Fund Raising Activities carried on with the approval

    of the Board of Management 61

    30. Adult Education 64

    31. Examination Fees and Repeat Leaving Certificate Fees 65

    32. Data Protection Acts 1988 & 2003 and Data storage 67

    33. Good Governance Guide to Risk Management 69

    34. Health & Safety Risk Management 70

    35. Student Enrolment Records 71

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    Schedule of Appendices

    Appendix Page

    1. Payment of Substitute Teachers employed in Community and 72 Comprehensive Schools

    2. School Financial Report 73

    3. Sample terms of reference for a Board of Management 85 Finance Committee

    4. Circular 43/2006 Tax Clearance Procedures Public Sector Contracts 87

    5. Revenue Guidance to Boards of Management on Relevant Contracts 94

    Tax / Value Added Tax (revised August 2016)

    6. Annual Declaration of Interests Form for persons engaged in the purchasing/ 95

    procurement of goods/services

    7. Circular CC 2/99 Payment of Travelling and Subsistence Allowances 96

    8. Indemnity Declaration form for use of motor vehicle on official school 103

    business authorised by the Board of Management, (Circular 0017/2016)

    9. Travel and Subsistence Expenses Claim Form 104

    10. Requirements regarding the use of school facilities by outside bodies, 105

    Application form and sample conditions

    11. Specimen Audit Report in relation to fund raising by school 108

    12. Notification Form for completion by schools in relation to actions, claims 109

    or demands relating to the State Indemnity

    (excluding personal injuries and third party property damage)

    13. Procedures for processing actions, claims or demands under the State 113

    Indemnity that do not come within the ambit of the State Claims Agency

    14. State Claims Agency Claims (SCA) 115

    15. Pensions Declaration 121

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    Community and Comprehensive Schools

    Governance Manual

    1. Introduction

    1.1 This governance manual is intended to be read in conjunction with the First and Second

    Schedules to the Model Lease for Community Schools, instruments and articles of

    management for Comprehensive Schools or the lease actually executed in the case of the

    individual school as appropriate.

    The First and Second Schedules to the Model Lease for Community Schools are under

    review at present.

    1.2 It is intended to serve as a manual for Boards of Management and Principals of

    Community and Comprehensive Schools as well as for the staff of the Department.

    1.3 This Manual is applicable to all areas of the school's operations including activities not

    funded by the Department or otherwise within the purview of the Department.

    1.4 The operation of this manual will be kept under review with a view to making any

    necessary amendments in the light of experience.

    1.5 This manual is effective from 1st September 2016.


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    Any enquiries in relation to this manual may be forwarded to the address

    below. Schools Division Financial Department of Education & Skills Cornamaddy Athlone Co.Westmeath Eircode: N37X659 E-mail [email protected] September 2016

    mailto:[email protected]

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    2 Responsibilities of the Board of Management

    2.1 The Board of Management is responsible for the governance and direction of the school, the use of

    school resources and the management of budgetary allocations made to the school by the Minister. To

    discharge its duty in this regard, the Board should ensure that there is an adequate system of control,

    delegation and accountability in place to ensure the smooth and efficient operation of school services

    and school administration. While the Board may delegate many of its responsibilities to the Principal

    and in some circumstances to sub committees of the Board, it must remain aware of its responsibilities

    and of its accountability to the Minister. Sub committees should be assigned very specific duties,

    terms of reference and reporting guidelines.

    2.2 The Board of Management is responsible for ensuring that the school maintains such records and

    registers as are prescribed from time to time. These include minutes of Board meetings, attendance at

    Board meetings, accounting records, asset register, staff attendance, pupil attendance records and

    superannuation files.

    2.3 The Board must decide the nature and extent of financial and other information required in order to

    discharge its functions. At a minimum, the Board must receive separate financial reports at each

    meeting for the School Fund and other activities outlining receipts and expenditure for period and year

    to date, projected receipts and expenditure for year, calculation of surplus/deficit at year end and

    recommendations regarding corrective action where necessary, a list of reconciled bank balances at a

    recent date.

    2.4 The Board of Management is responsible for ensuring as far as reasonably practicable, the safety and

    health at work of their employees and the safety of those who are in any way affected by the work

    activities of the school. The Board of Management is responsible for the maintenance, condition and

    state of repair of the school premises.

    The Board must take reasonable measures to secure the safety of pupils, school staff and visitors to

    the school and must establish such procedures as are necessary to ensure that potential hazards are

    identified and rectified as soon as possible.

    The Guidelines on Managing Safety and Health in Post-Primary Schools set out the Board of

    Managements responsibility in maintaining a safe and healthy school environment. This guidance

    also provides practical advice and tools to assist schools in planning, organising and managing a safe

    and healthy school environment.

    2.5 The Board of Management shall make available such reports, returns and other information to

    the Minister as s/he may require from time to time.

    2.6 Minutes of Board meetings should include particulars of all formal proposals brought before the

    Board for decision. One copy of these minutes should be forwarded to Schools Financial Section,

    Department of Education and Skills, Cornamaddy, Athlone, Co. Westmeath, N37 X659.

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    2.7 On appointment, new Board members should be apprised of their obligations and

    responsibilities as set out in the First and Second Schedules to the Model Lease for

    Community Schools or the lease actually executed in the case of the individual

    community school as appropriate or otherwise set out by the Department. In particular,

    Board members are reminded, inter alia, that:

    Board members shall adhere to the requirements as set out in the First Schedule Instrument of Management in relation to not having a financial interest in the school.

    Board proceedings are confidential and no disclosure may be made without the authority of the Board.

    Disclosures are usually delegated to the Board Chairperson or the Secretary to the Board

    as appropriate.

    2.8 The Deed of Trust outlines the extent of the general indemnity, which the State provides

    to Boards of Management - Section 25 also refers. A Board is fully indemnified from

    any claims arising in connection with the carrying out of its duties in the normal way and

    in circumstances, which do not disclose a default or wrongful act on the part of the


    Similarly, teaching and non teaching staff carrying out their duties in accordance with

    the instructions of the Board of Management as conveyed to them in the normal way are

    also fully indemnified. The general indemnity does not extend to individual board

    members acting in a personal capacity.

    2.9 Where an individual Board member has concerns regarding aspects of a school's affairs,

    it is incumbent upon that member to bring them before the Board in an appropriate

    manner. In circumstances where it can be shown that a member has acted in good faith;

    has made a full disclosure of the facts to the Board, in so far as these are known to

    him/her at the time; it is reasonable to assume that the member has then discharged

    his/her responsibility and the concerns are now the responsibility of the Board.

    2.10 Board of Management members should avoid conflicts of interest. Where a situation

    arises in which a board member feels that his/her objectivity or independence in relation

    to a matter currently before the board is/could be impaired, immediate steps should be

    taken to make a full disclosure of the circumstances to the board and the member

    concerned should not take any further part in Boards deliberations in relation to the

    matter in question. Board members also should take care to ensure that they are seen to

    be acting independently and without personal interest in decisions made by the Board.

    2.11 The Board is not permitted to instigate court proceedings without written approval from

    the Department.

    The Department must be informed if the Board is joined in any court proceedings. The

    Secretary of the Board of Management should contact the ACCS for support in this

    regard. The State Claims Agency (SCA) should also be informed if the Board is joined

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    in any court proceedings relating to personal injury or third party property damage

    claims. See Appendix 14 for further details of claims managed by the SCA.

    2.12 The Board and the Patrons

    It is the duty of the Board to manage the school on behalf of the Patrons. In carrying

    out this duty the board is obliged to consult with and keep the Patrons informed of

    decisions and proposals of the board. The Board is also accountable to the Patrons

    for upholding the schools characteristic spirit and the Board must publish, in such

    manner as the Patrons considers appropriate, the schools admission policy. Patrons have

    a specific role in appointing the Board of Management nominating members to interview


    It is essential, therefore that arrangements are in place to ensure that the Patron is

    appropriately consulted in relation to Board matters and that any information

    required for the Patrons role is made available to the Patron by the board.

    Examples of information that must be supplied to the Patron include the Admission

    Policy, School Plan, Child Protection Policy, Code of Behaviour/Anti-Bullying

    Policy and any major building or refurbishment proposals envisaged at the school.

    2.13 The Board as Employer

    Under Section 24 of the Education Act, 1998 (as amended by the Education (Amendment) Act,

    2012) the Board the Board of Management is the employer of teachers and other staff of the

    School. The Boards role as an employer includes responsibility for the recruitment and dismissal

    of teachers and other staff within the school, subject to relevant Department circulars

    and employment legislation.

    Teachers and other staff proposed for appointment to the school will be remunerated by the

    Department of Education and Skills in accordance with the numbers and levels approved by the

    Department for such staff. It is the responsibility of the Board to ensure that staff are appointed

    to posts in accordance with the relevant procedures and requirements outlined in Departments

    Circulars and in other agreements between the Unions and Management Bodies.

    Issues with teacher performance and conduct are addressed under agreements reached

    under Section 24(3) of the Education Act, 1998. Procedures in relation to professional competence

    issues and general disciplinary matters are set out in Circular 60/2009.

    Enquiries in relation to terms and conditions of employment or appointment procedures for

    Teachers and Special Need Assistants (SNAs) may be sent to:

    [email protected]

    mailto:[email protected]

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    General information regarding employers responsibilities is contained on

    2.14 School Policies

    The Board has overall responsibility for school policies. Therefore, there are a range of different

    school policies that Boards will, from time to time, be involved in developing, implementing and

    reviewing as appropriate. Examples include the Admission (enrolment) Policy, Child Protection

    Policy, Code of Behaviour/Anti-Bullying Policy, Complaints Procedures, School Attendance

    Strategy, Health and Safety Statement etc.

    The extent to which a new Board will need to consider any particular school policy will depend

    on the circumstances of the school in question. However, each Board must ensure that the

    appropriate and necessary school policies are in place as required.

    Further information on the key policy areas of Child Protection and the Code of Behaviour/

    Anti-Bullying Policy is set out below.

    2.15 Child Protection

    Child protection and welfare considerations are relevant to all aspects of school life and the

    Board must ensure that such considerations are taken into account in all of the schools policies,

    practices and activities. In particular, the Board must be familiar with and ensure that the Child

    Protection Procedures for Primary and Post Primary Schools (issued under Circular 65/2011)

    are fully implemented by the school. This includes ensuring that:

    the Board has ratified a Child Protection Policy for the school,

    a copy of the schools Child Protection Policy which includes the names of the

    Designated Liaison Person (DLP) and Deputy DLP is available to all school personnel

    and the Parents Association and is readily accessible to parents on request,

    the name of the DLP is displayed in a prominent position near the main entrance

    to the school,

    child protection matters are reported appropriately to the Board in accordance with

    the procedures,

    an annual review of the Child Protection Policy and its implementation is undertaken

    by the Board.

    The Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post Primary Schools are available on the

    Departments website at

    A Child Protection Policy template is also available on the Departments website.

    The Children First National Guidelines for the Protection and welfare of Children are available on

    the Department of Children and Youth Affairs website

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    Important Note regarding proposed Children First legislation relevant to schools and teachers.

    At the time of publication of these Guidelines, the Departments requirements in relation to child

    protection are set out in the Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post Primary Schools and

    are based on Children First National Guidance for the Protection and Welfare of Children (2011).

    The Children First Act, 2015, will put elements of the Children First: National Guidance for the

    Protection and Welfare of Children (2011) on a statutory footing.

    a) A requirement on organisations providing services to children to keep children safe and to

    produce a Child Safeguarding Statement;

    b) A requirement on defined categories of persons (who are referred to as mandated persons and

    which include all registered teachers) to report child protection concerns over a defined threshold

    to the Child and Family Agency(the Agency);

    c) A requirement on mandated persons to assist the Agency in the assessment of a child protection risk

    arising from a mandated report under the Act, if so requested to do so by the Agency;

    d) Putting the Children First Interdepartmental Group on a statutory footing.

    It is envisaged that the Department of Children and Youth Affairs will review and publish updated

    Children First Guidance on foot of the above legislation and other recent legislation relevant to child

    protection. This will also trigger some changes to the existing Child Protection Procedures for Primary

    and Post-Primary Schools. The Department of Education and Skills will, in due course, consult with the

    relevant education partners in this regard. It is therefore important to check the Departments website

    for the up to date position regarding same.

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    2.16 Code of Behaviour /Anti-Bullying Policy The Board must ensure that the school meets its obligations under the Education (Welfare)

    Act, 2000 to have in place a Code of Behaviour that has been drawn up in accordance with

    the guidelines of TUSLA/ Child and Family Agency

    The Board must also ensure that the school has an Anti-Bullying Policy that fully complies

    with the requirements of the Departments Anti-Bullying Procedures for Primary and Post-

    Primary Schools issued under Circular 0045/2013 .

    A template Anti-Bullying Policy which must be used by all schools for this purpose is provided

    in Appendix 1 of the procedures.

    The Anti-Bullying Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools and associated Circular

    0045/2013 apply to all recognised primary and Post Primary schools. The procedures are

    designed to give direction and guidance to the Board and to school personnel in preventing and

    tackling school-based bullying behaviour amongst its pupils. The Board and school personnel

    are required to adhere to these procedures in dealing with allegations and incidents of bullying.

    The Board must ensure that the schools Anti-Bullying Policy is made available to school

    personnel, published on the school website (or where none exists, be otherwise readily

    accessible to parents and pupils on request) and provided to the Parents Association (where

    one exists).

    The procedures also include oversight arrangements which require that, at least once in every

    school term, the Principal will provide a report to the Board of Management in relation to the

    numbers of bullying cases reported to him or her and confirmation that all of these cases have

    been, or are being, dealt with in accordance with the schools Anti-Bullying Policy and the

    Anti-Bullying Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary schools.

    The oversight arrangements also require that the Board must undertake an annual review

    of the schools Anti-Bullying Policy and its implementation by the school. Written notification

    that the review has been completed must be made available to school personnel, published on

    the school website (or where none exists, be otherwise readily accessible to parents and

    pupils on request) and provided to the Parents Association (where one exists).

    See Appendix 4, Circular 45/2013

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    2.17 Management of Resources Section 15 of the Education Act, 1998 requires the Board of Management, in carrying out its

    functions, to have regard to the efficient use of resources and, in particular, to the efficient use

    of State funds. Boards therefore have a statutory duty to ensure that appropriate systems

    and procedures are in place to ensure school resources (including grants, staffing and other

    resources) are managed appropriately and efficiently and in a manner that provides for

    appropriate accountability to the relevant parties.

    The Board should also be fully aware of and actively involved in the oversight of the schools

    applications for all resources. The approval of joint Patrons is also required in respect of applications

    for building projects.

    P-Pod is a central database of Post-Primary student and some school data, which is hosted by the

    Department. All Post-Primary Schools can access P-Pod via the Departments secure esinet portal

    to maintain their students data. From October 2014, all Post-Primary schools were required to

    make their annual return of students known as the October returns via P-Pod. The October returns

    data is then used in the allocation of Teaching posts and funding to Post-Primary Schools.

    All Post-Primary school authorities are required to submit a completed Certificate of Management

    Authority/Principal for the specific school year in question to the Department as part of their

    submission of their October returns. This includes a declaration by the school Principal that the

    pupil information supplied on the schools October returns, as generated from P-Pod is complete

    and accurate in respect of enrolment as at 30th September.

    Boards of Management and Principal teachers are reminded about the importance of ensuring

    the accuracy of enrolment returns to the Department. They have a responsibility to

    immediately notify the Department of any error or irregularity in their enrolment returns. The

    Departments standard policy for cases that involve any deliberate overstatement of

    enrolments is to refer them to An Garda Sochna. .

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    2.18 School Leadership

    The quality of school leadership in a school is central to setting direction in the school and

    achieving the best educational outcomes for pupils. Good leadership increases the overall

    effectiveness of the school generally but is particularly important in the context of the effective

    delivery of the curriculum, policy development and implementation, school self-evaluation and

    the creation of a positive school culture and climate for all pupils and staff.

    Boards of Management must be cognisant of the importance of encouraging and facilitating the

    Principal and Deputy Principal and others in developing and effectively exercising this leadership

    role in the school.

    The Department has made considerable investment to build the professional

    competence of school leaders through its support services and more recently through the

    decision to establish a Centre for School Leadership. The Centres responsibilities will cover

    the range of leadership development for school leaders, from pre-appointment training and

    induction of newly appointed Principals to continuing professional development throughout

    their careers.

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    2.19 School Planning

    Under the Education Act, 1998 it is the responsibility of the Board to arrange for the

    preparation of a School Plan, and to ensure that it is regularly reviewed and updated. The

    School Plan sets out the educational philosophy of the school, its aims and how it proposes

    to achieve them. Pupil learning needs are at the centre of all planning, and the focus of the

    school plan should be the teaching and learning that takes place in the school.

    The School Plan is not a static document. It evolves in the light of the changing and developing

    needs of the school community. It must be regularly reviewed and updated. One of the first

    tasks of any newly appointed Board will therefore be to give careful consideration to the

    School Plan. The School Plan serves as a basis for the work of the school as a whole and for

    evaluating and reporting on whole school progress and development.

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    2.20 Self-Evaluation/Teaching and Learning

    Under the Education Act, 1998 a school is required to establish and maintain systems

    whereby the efficiency and effectiveness of its operations can be assessed. Effective Boards

    are keenly aware that self-evaluation is central to school improvement and will ensure ongoing

    evaluation and review of both the overall effectiveness and efficiency of the school and of the

    Board itself.

    The Act places a statutory duty on the Board to ensure that an appropriate education is

    provided to all of the schools pupils. In order to effectively carry out this duty, appropriate and

    regular oversight by the Board of the teaching and learning in the school should be in place.

    Furthermore, the Board, from an oversight and governance perspective, can and should play

    a key role in improving standards in the school.

    For example, effective Boards will be actively involved in ensuring that appropriate targets are

    set for improving learning outcomes, particularly in literacy and numeracy, and in monitoring how

    well these targets are being achieved as part of the schools self-evaluation process.

    The Department issued Circular 40/2016, which outlines the requirements in

    relation to School Self-Evaluation of teaching and learning. A dedicated website also provides up-to-date information about school self-

    evaluation and contains materials and resources to support schools as they engage in the


    The Board should ensure that a School Self-Evaluation Report and School Improvement Plan

    are prepared each year and that a summary of the Schools Self-Evaluation Report and

    School Improvement Plan are provided to the whole school community annually.

    The Board is strongly advised to complete a legislative and regulatory checklist and to provide this

    to the school community annually to evaluate the extent to which the school is adhering to its


    The focus of the Boards considerations in relation to teaching and learning must be on

    ensuring the best possible outcomes for the schools pupils. It is important to ensure that any

    such discussions do not breach pupil confidentiality. Likewise, information provided to the Board for

    this purpose should be in a format that does not breach pupil confidentiality (e.g. information

    aggregated by class or group, as appropriate)

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    2.21 Training for Boards

    Board members are strongly advised to access relevant training to assist them in carrying out

    their role. In this regard, Boards should contact the ACCS for information in relation to available

    training or for advice and guidance in relation to Board matters.

    The modules currently covered by such training are as follows:

    The Board as a Corporate Entity Function, Roles and the Board in action

    Procedures governing the appointment of staff in schools

    Board finances

    Legal issues - policies and procedures arising from legislation, guidelines and circulars

    Child Protection Procedures

    Anti-Bullying Procedures

    Data Protection

    Given the importance of training in the effective operation of a Board of Management, it is

    recommended that Board of Management meetings are used to regularly discuss the training

    needs of Board members and available training resources. It is the responsibility of each

    Board member to ensure that he or she avails of any Board of Management training that is

    made available.

    The school Principal and the Chairperson of the Board will normally be the main source of

    information for other Board members in relation to general information and in relation to

    queries regarding Board matters. Board members will also find that the websites of the ACCS

    and the Department are a useful source of general information.

    If such general information is not available on the relevant websites then the Board member

    may seek it from the ACCS or the Department.


    2.22 Freedom of Information Acts

    A Board of Management established under Section 14 of the Education Act, 1998 other than a Board

    of Management of a school established or maintained by an Education and Training Board is currently

    exempt under the Freedom of Information Acts.

    However, Boards of Management should note that records forwarded to a public body may be subject to

    the Provisions of the Freedom of Information Acts

  • 16

    2.23 Taxation

    The Board must ensure that the school is in compliance with taxation laws and ensure that all tax

    liabilities are paid on or before the relevant date due. See Circular 0051/2013

    2.24 Remuneration

    The Board of Management is reminded that Government pay policy (including procedures and

    Systems in relation to travel and subsistence) must be implemented, as expressed from time to time in

    relation to Board members and staff and that the arrangements authorised from time to time cover

    total remuneration.

    The Department should be consulted in good time on any matters which could have

    significant implications for general Government pay policy.

    Compliance with Government pay policy or with any particular Government decision should not be

    effected in ways which cut across public service standards integrity or conduct, or involve unacceptable

    practices which result in a loss of tax revenue to the exchequer.

    The Board is not empowered in any circumstances to award additional payments

    (e.g. top up payments, Honoria) to any member of Teaching and non Teaching staff or to any member

    of the board.

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    3. The Protected Disclosures Act 2014

    The Protected Disclosures Act 2014 became law on 15 July 2014 and places a requirement

    on every public body (which includes schools) to establish and maintain procedures for the

    making of protected disclosures by workers who are, or were employed, by the public body

    and for dealing with such disclosures.

    The purpose of this Act is to protect workers from being penalised for whistleblowing about

    wrongdoing or potential wrongdoing that has come to their attention in the workplace.

    Key provisions in the Protected Disclosures Act 2014 include:

    A prohibition on penalising workers who make protected disclosures with a wide definition of worker.

    A broad range of relevant wrongdoings which can be reported including criminal offences, breaches of legal obligations, where the health and safety of any individual has

    been or is likely to be endangered, miscarriage of justice, unlawful or improper use of

    public funds or any attempt to conceal information in relation to such wrongdoings.

    A stepped disclosure system which encourages workers to report to employers in the first instance.

    Each school is required to have appropriate arrangements in place to receive such disclosures

    from its workers. It is recommended that all employers i.e. Boards of Management put a

    Protected Disclosure Policy in place in addition to establishing the required procedures.

    Please see the Template Protected Disclosures Policy developed by ACCS with accompanying Notification Form for a Protected Disclosure at Template Protected Disclosures Policy and Protected Disclosures Notification Form .

    4 Registration with the Charities Regulatory Authority (CRA)

    Under the Charities Act 2009 there is a requirement for each Board to have its school

    registered with the Charities Regulatory Authority (CRA) and to verify this information

    once a year.

    The Department and the CRA work closely to make the registration process as simple and

    straightforward as possible. The CRA can be contacted with queries by email at

    [email protected][email protected]

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    5 Energy Management in Schools

    By managing energy use effectively schools can benefit from increased comfort levels,

    reduced costs and better environmental performance.

    It has been shown that just by behavioural changes schools can easily save up to 10% of

    their energy costs per annum. The Energy in Education programme offers a range of supports

    developed by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) in partnership with the

    Department of Education and Skills designed to help schools to improve energy management

    practices and save money.

    The website features short videos, fact sheets and case studies on

    specific areas that can be targeted along with a step by step approach on how to get started.

    Guidance on energy management and details of the range of supports is available at

    Statutory Obligation to Monitor and Report Energy Use Annually

    All public sector bodies, including schools, have a statutory obligation to report annually on

    their energy usage directly to the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI). All schools

    were notified of this requirement in writing in December 2014 by the Department of Communications

    Energy& Natural Resources (DCENR).

    SEAI and DCENR have developed an on-line energy Monitoring and Reporting (M&R) system to

    facilitate schools to report their energy use. As well as enabling schools to report and track energy

    data annually, the online system provides:

    A scorecard that presents a powerful snapshot of the schools progress to date.

    Online access to annual electricity and natural gas consumption data.

    Option to share relevant data with the Office of Government Procurements energy procurement framework.

    There is additional information on the reporting process available at


  • 19

    6 Allocation of Funding and Teaching Resources

    6.1 Allocation in this context is intended to mean the conveyance of the approval of the

    Minister for Education & Skills for the use of a certain level of resources by the Board in

    meeting its responsibility for the government and direction of the school, as distinct from

    any agreement to provide a certain level of exchequer funds for that purpose. These

    resources take a number of forms, as indicated in the following paragraphs.

    6.2 PAY

    6.2.1 Pay savings cannot be used for non-pay purposes and are subject to surrender i.e. they

    are taken into account in making the allocation for the following year.

    6.2.2 TEACHER PAY

    The initial allocation of teaching staff, in wholetime teacher equivalent posts for a

    particular school year, is normally made by the Post-Primary Teacher Allocations

    Section prior to the 31st of January of the previous school year. The final allocation of

    teaching staff will issue in the Summer of the previous school year. Boards of

    Management may not employ teachers in excess of this allocation.

    The Department meets the pay and PRSI costs of the authorised permanent, CID,

    temporary, regular part-time teachers and part-time teachers (Non-RPT) employed as

    part of the Approved Allocation of teaching staff for wholetime day courses on behalf of

    the Board and charges these payments directly to the appropriate sub heads of the Vote.

    The Board may employ substitute teachers in accordance with the arrangements

    approved by the Minister from time to time. The current position in regard to the

    question of substitution is as outlined in Appendix 1 to the Manual.

    Section 30 of the Teaching Council Act 2001 prohibits payment from public funds of

    people employed as teachers in recognised schools unless they are registered with the

    Teaching Council.

    The Department is prohibited by law from paying any person who is employed in a

    teaching post in a recognised school unless he or she is registered with the Teaching

    Council. See Circulars 0025/2013


    With-The-Teaching-Council.pdf and 0052/2013

    and-Forms/Active-Circulars/cl0052_2013.pdf in this regard.

    The Board may employ tutors for their self financing evening classes at the rates set out

    in the Self-Financing Adult Education Classes Circular 57/2014

  • 20


    Secretarial and Maintenance staffing levels are approved by the Department for

    Community and Comprehensive schools and are subject to review from time to time.

    The prior approval of the Department for the filling of posts that fall vacant must be


    There has been a Moratorium on Recruitment and Promotions in the Public Service with

    effect from the 27 March 2009. No appointments can therefore be made, either

    permanent, temporary or by way of an acting appointment.

    Any change in these arrangements arising from Delegated Sanction Agreements will be

    notified separately to schools.

    In exceptional circumstances the necessity to fill such posts may arise but the prior

    sanction of the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform must be obtained for the

    filling of these posts. See Circular 23/2009 in this regard.

    Appointments of staff to permanent pensionable posts are subject to the approval of the

    Minister. Recruitment procedures, terms and conditions of service, and remuneration for

    non-teaching staff are generally determined in accordance with central agreements and

    through central negotiations involving the schools, Government Departments and staff

    interests. Recruitment procedures should be adopted by schools in accordance with best

    practice and should include arrangements for public advertisement of the post to be

    filled, desirable qualification criteria, competitive interview by selection board, ranking

    in order of merit of candidates etc. The school must have regard to gender balance,

    where appropriate, when establishing a selection committee. Current conditions of

    appointment and statement of duties for Secretarial and Caretaking staff must be signed

    by an appointee prior to appointment. Any proposals by the school or representations by

    staff interests to amend existing provisions should be submitted to the Department at the

    earliest opportunity.

    The appointment and conditions of service governing the employment of temporary and

    part time staff is a function of the Board subject to compliance with relevant legislative

    provision and Departmental circular.

    6.3. NON-PAY

    6.3.1 The allocation for non-pay resources is made in respect of each financial year ending on

    December 31. The allocation or budget is designed to cover normal school running costs

    and the budget for each school is decided having regard to the total amount of funds

    available for the sector in the year in question and estimates submitted by the schools. In

    determining the amount of the allocation, account is taken of school enrolments, sports

    complexes/halls and other local circumstances.

  • 21

    Excluding any additional allocations which may be made for specific programmes (viz.

    Post Leaving Certificate Transition Year Programme, Leaving Certificate Applied,

    Leaving Certificate Vocational Programme, Junior Certificate School Programme, etc.),

    the amount allocated for non-pay represents a limit to expenditure and must not be


    The specific sanction of the Department is required where an allocation is required to

    meet exceptional needs or where planned expenditure involves a spending commitment

    by the school in respect of more than one year. In addition, boards should note that:

    (a) Reference to or inclusion of a particular item in the minutes of a board meeting

    does not constitute a formal proposal to the Department.

    (b) Such reference or inclusion does not relieve the board of the obligation to submit

    proposals for sanction formally by way of letter.

    6.3.2 The Emergency Works Scheme is available for situations which pose an immediate risk

    to health, life, property or the environment, which is sudden, unforeseen and requires

    immediate action and if not corrected would prevent the school or part thereof from


    Schools requiring emergency works to be undertaken must apply under this scheme by

    completing in full the Emergency Works Application and forwarding same to the School

    Planning and Building Unit, Tullamore, Co. Offaly.

    See Circular 0018/2011 in this regard.


    6.4. CAPITAL

    6.4.1. MINOR WORKS

    Minor works of a capital nature and replacement of equipment are to be paid from a

    specific allocation made to the Board as a part of the Non-Pay Allocation. This

    allocation comprises a standard grant plus a per capita grant. No separate application

    process is necessary.

    It is not permissible except in specific circumstances approved by the Minister to use

    funds made available under this heading to finance part of a major capital project or a

    series of projects which, when taken together, would constitute a major capital project

    and should not therefore be a charge on the School.

  • 22


    The Minister continues to act as client for all major capital projects. The costs of such

    projects are charged, as appropriate, directly to the Education and Skills Vote.

    Projects of a substantial nature, including major updating of equipment, exceeding 10%

    of a schools Non-Pay allocations (excluding minor works allocation) set out in their

    School Budget letter in any year are to be treated as capital works. No commitment in

    respect of such works should be entered into without the prior approval of the

    Department's Planning and Building Unit. If approved the works will be carried out by

    the Building Unit or as directed by them. Payment will be made by the Building Unit on

    foot of appropriate vouchers and charged to the Department's capital account. Payments

    for such capital items must not be charged to the School Fund.

  • 23

    7 Estimating Funding


    The Board of Management must submit particulars of enrolments as on the 30th

    September of a particular year to the Parents Learners & Data Base Section of the

    Department in early October in the format as specified by the Department (October

    Returns). This information enables the Post-Primary Teacher Allocations Section of the

    Department to determine the allocation of teacher resources for wholetime day courses

    for the following school year.


    Pay costs met by the Board from the School Fund includes non-teaching pay and

    additional supervision duties.

    The Board must submit estimates of its requirements for non teaching pay for the

    following financial year by 31st January each year. The Department sets out the precise

    content and format of these estimates from time to time. The accounts for the previous

    year form a significant part of the supporting information.

    The estimate for non-teacher pay must show gross expenditure, anticipated

    superannuation receipts, reimbursements to the School Fund for pay costs incurred on

    other school activities and net demand from the exchequer. In addition, a schedule is

    required showing employees, grades, rates of pay and cost of increments, and indicating

    likely changes. Information will also be required on courses and pupil numbers for both

    the current school year and the coming school year and on any special circumstances

    likely to affect the financial requirements for the coming year.

    The Department will take account of any new schools coming on stream within the

    financial year and will make any appropriate provision.


    The non-pay non-capital estimate excluding minor works of a capital nature, will show

    the gross amount sought, anticipated receipts allocated to non-pay and the net amount

    sought from the Department's Vote.

    7.4 CAPITAL

    The Building Unit of the Department includes an appropriate amount in the capital

    estimate of the Department in respect of approved projects. The Board must provide

    such information for this purpose as the Building Unit may require from time to time.

  • 24

    8 Monitoring of Teacher Allocations and Budgets


    Expenditure on authorised permanent, CID, temporary, regular part-time teachers and

    part-time teachers(Non-RPT) employed as part of the Approved Allocation of teaching

    staff for wholetime day courses on behalf of the Board continues to come within the

    Department's own internal control and monitoring procedures.

    Under no circumstances should the Approved Allocation of teaching staff be exceeded.

    It is the responsibility of the Board of Management to ensure that over utilisation does

    not occur.


    School Division (Athlone) will continue to monitor non-teaching staffing. The regular

    completion and submission of the annual census for non-teaching staff is essential in this



    The National Council for Special Education (NCSE) decides on each schools

    requirement for SNAs. This information is conveyed to the Departments SNA Payroll


    The appointment of Special Needs Assistants (SNAs) is a matter for the individual

    school authority, subject to agreed procedures, and must take account of all appropriate

    legislation. SNAs are paid from the central DES SNA Payroll section while notification

    of claims for substitute SNAs are notified through the OLCS system. Further information

    about the terms and conditions of employment for SNAs is available on the DES

    website. Circular 21/11 applies.

    Schools are required to implement arrangements as per Circular 35/16.

    8.3 NON-PAY

    In the case of all receipts and payments by the Board, it is the responsibility of the Board

    to establish its own system of monitoring to ensure that proper budgetary control

    mechanisms and procedures are in place to ensure that expenditure is planned, monitored

    and controlled so as to ensure that the approved financial allocation is not exceeded. In

    this regard, Boards are advised to draw up a preliminary budget at the commencement of

    each year outlining income and expenditure for the year for the school as a whole under

    all the various categories. This can be revised in light of final budget figures from the

    Department in June of each year.

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    Where individual school departments have particular needs e.g. class materials, budgets

    may then be allocated on the basis of projected needs, historical experience and having

    regard to available resources. Actual expenditure will be monitored against budget on a

    regular basis. Boards are also advised to set aside a contingency fund each year to meet

    unforeseen non-pay contingencies, which might arise during the course of the year.

    Schools will normally retain end year surpluses on non-pay.

    Excesses over approved allocations are not permissible. Where it emerges that the

    approved allocation for the year is likely to be exceeded, appropriate measures should be

    instituted by the Board to curtail expenditure. The Department reserves the right to

    reduce the allocation for subsequent years, if it considers that the circumstances warrant

    such a course, or to take other appropriate action where the allocation is exceeded.

    8.4 CAPITAL

    Capital expenditure met by the Department, will continue to come within the

    Department's own internal control and monitoring procedures.

  • 26

    9. Financial Returns


    In order to facilitate the Department's own monitoring, a profile of anticipated receipts

    into and payments from the School Fund, month by month for the financial year, and

    agreeing with the approved gross allocation, must be submitted by the Board as soon as

    the allocation for the year has been approved. A financial report, as outlined at Appendix

    2 to the Manual or on a similar computer-generated form, must be submitted monthly

    during the course of the financial year. These reports must show actual receipts and

    payments for the month in detail (see notes to Report hereunder). They must include a

    budget control statement containing the initial profile, actual receipts and payments to

    date and projected receipts and payments to year end. These monthly reports must reach

    the Department by the tenth working day of the following month. Copies of these reports

    must be tabled at the next following meeting of the Board. A copy of the end of period

    bank statement must accompany the reports for the School Fund Account. School

    Division Financial Section (Athlone) monitors these returns. Original bank statements

    are to be retained by the school for a minimum of seven years.


    The Board must prepare a financial report, in respect of each financial year ending on 31

    December. The December report, as well as being a monthly report may also be used for

    the purpose of the annual report. This report, must be formally approved as such by the

    Board, and forwarded to the Department by Mid- February following the end of the

    financial year. The completed accounts must be accompanied by such other information

    as the Minister may require from time to time.

    The financial details of the adult education programme must be accounted for separately

    from the School Fund to the Board of Management and the Department of Education &

    Skills. These details must be submitted to the Department of Education and Skills with

    the financial reports.

  • 27

    Notes to Monthly/Annual Financial Reports

    1. The constituent parts of the monthly/annual financial report are:-

    A statement of Receipts and Payments in respect of the School Fund.

    A Bank Reconciliation Statement in respect of the School Fund.

    A Statement of cash assets and liabilities of the School Fund.

    A Petty Cash Statement.

    A Statement of Receipts and Payments and Bank Reconciliation Statement in respect of the self-financing adult education programme.

    A School Fund Budget Control statement.

    A copy of the end of period bank statement

    2. The Report should be completed for each month.

    The Report should also be completed for the year as a whole i.e., showing balance at 1 January, receipts and payments for the whole year, net for year as a

    whole and balance at 31 December. This may be used for the purposes of the

    Annual Report to be approved by the Board and submitted to the Department.

    The various accounts included in the Report are set out in linear format rather than in double column format. This does not require an understanding of debits

    and credits. It also allows them to be entered on any standard computer


    3. The constituent parts of the Statement of Receipts and Payments are

    Balance at start of period



    Net for period

    Balance forward

  • 28

    4. Breakdowns will be given within the broad headings of Receipts and Payments. These will follow the current division viz.


    Maintenance of School

    Maintenance of classes


    5. Payments must be analysed into pay and non-pay as at present. Receipts are not

    analysed into pay and non-pay.

    6. Other sub-divisions will be used to suit local management needs and the Department's

    central needs. Some changes in these sub-divisions are proposed from the current


    7. Payments in the Statement must include cheques issued but not cashed or cancelled.

    Receipts in the Statement must include receipts to hand but not lodged to the bank


    8. Where activities are undertaken on the basis of recoupment from some external source,

    then both receipts and payments relative to this activity and source must be shown to

    allow for verification of the recoupment.

    9. Cheques issued as petty cash floats must not be shown as payments in the Statement of

    Receipts and Payments. Amounts spent from petty cash (as distinct from issues of petty

    cash) should be entered under the appropriate payment analysis headings when vouchers

    have been received and the payments accepted. The amount of the petty cash issued and

    not spent and vouched must be shown as Petty Cash Unexpended in the balance carried

    forward in the Statement of Receipts and Payments.

  • 29

    10. The Budget Control Statement requires schools to prepare a profile at the beginning of

    the year showing how receipts and payments within the budget will fall each month,

    under appropriate category headings. It is accepted that estimation on a monthly basis

    cannot be done accurately. The Budget report at the end of each month must show actual

    receipts and payments for each month to date and an up-to-date estimate for each

    succeeding month. The comparison between the two must show the variation from the

    budget. Whether variations during the course of the year can be contained within the

    total budget for the year as a whole is the most significant question, which the Budget

    Report is designed to address.

    11. A computer-generated report on the same format may be used instead of the manual

    form supplied.

  • 30

    10. Audit

    10.1 The books and accounts of the Board must be open for inspection by officers of the

    Department of Education and Skills and of the Office of the Comptroller and Auditor

    General. All financial records and documentation in regard to, tenders, orders, receipts,

    invoices and other vouchers requisitions, store records, bank statements and all relevant

    supporting documentation must be retained by the Board for a period of 7 years.

    This guideline does not extend to pay and related school personnel service records, which

    should be retained indefinitely within the school. The Board should ensure that it meets

    its obligations in relation to the retention of all documentation.

    10.2 Community and Comprehensive schools are subject to audit by the Departments

    Internal Audit Unit.

    10.3 The objective of the audit is to examine the effectiveness of the management and control

    systems and to assess the current level of assurance which can be attributed to the

    systems in place and to make any recommendations considered appropriate. This

    includes an assessment of the following:

    The soundness, adequacy and application of financial and other management controls;

    The extent to which the schools assets and interests are accounted for and safeguarded;

    The extent of compliance with, relevance to and financial effect of established policies, plans and procedures;

    The suitability and reliability of financial and other management data developed within the school.

    The audit, which is generally advised in advance, takes place over a number of days in

    the school. The audit process involves detailed examination of school accounts and

    records by the Department officials, assisted by school personnel having responsibility

    for all aspects of the management of school finances including receipt of funds,

    authorisation of payments and custody of assets. Such personnel would normally include

    the Principal, School Secretary and relevant post holders in the school.

    During the actual audit process itself, findings are discussed and agreed with the

    Principal and other relevant staff on an ongoing basis. A full presentation of the findings

    and recommendations are made to the Principal, and other relevant personnel, if

    considered appropriate, at the end of the audit.

    A draft audit report together with a table of findings and recommendations will issue to

    the Chairperson of the Board of Management, for the Boards consideration, following

    completion of the audit fieldwork; in addition a copy will issue to the Principal and to

    the Management of the relevant line section(s) in the Department, for information; or for

    a management response in the event of recommendations requiring one. The Chairperson

  • 31

    of the Board of Management should respond in writing to Internal Audit Unit by the

    specified deadline; having first consulted with the Principal regarding the management


    The response must include:

    An acceptance or rejection by the Board of each recommendation;

    Comments on each of the audit findings;

    The Boards proposed action in relation to each recommendation in the draft audit report;

    A proposed timeframe for implementation of each recommendation. A date must be specified for each recommendation, even those that may be implemented


    The response, which must be signed off by the Chairperson of the Board of

    Management, will be included in the final audit report. The Chairpersons signature will

    be included electronically on the final audit report as confirmation that the report is

    accepted and authorised for issue.

    The final" audit report will be issued to the Departments Audit Committee for

    clearance and then to the Secretary General for approval. The report will then be issued

    to the Board of Management, the Principal, the Comptroller and Auditor General and to

    relevant management within the Department. It should be noted that audit reports are

    subject to Freedom of Information.

    As part of its procedures, the Departments Internal Audit Unit tracks the

    implementation of all outstanding recommendations on a quarterly basis. The Secretary

    General and the Audit Committee are regularly updated on the implementation of all

    recommendations. It is, therefore, vitally important that the most up to date position in

    relation to each recommendation is accurately reflected to Internal Audit Unit during the

    tracking process.

  • 32

    11. Accounting System

    11.1 The Board is accountable for all activities carried on under its auspices including those

    activities not financed or controlled by the Department.

    11.2 The Board must keep such books and accounts as are necessary to ensure good

    management, comply with any requirements set down by the Minister from time to time

    and satisfy any legal requirements of the Board. These books must be kept on the school

    premises and be available for inspection by Department officials and officials from the

    Office of the Comptroller and Auditor General.

    11.3 The Board requires complete and accurate accounting and other records to help it

    manage the school, prepare financial returns and comply with Department requirements.

    What constitutes an adequate accounting system depends on the size of the school and

    the diversity of its activities. Accounting records must disclose with reasonable accuracy

    the financial position of the school and must contain:

    entries from day to day of all sums of money received (i.e. cash receipts book) and expended by the school (i.e. cheque payments and petty cash payments books) for all

    activities. These records may be kept on computer.

    original supporting documentation in respect of which the receipt and expenditure takes place

    an assets register

    record of amounts due to and by the school

    wages and other records necessary to comply with Revenue Commissioners' requirements

    original statements for all bank accounts

    Board minutes

    File of tenders and contracts

    student attendance records should be recorded and maintained in a format which can readily be shared with the TUSLA requirements.

    record of attendance for teaching and non-teaching staff paid by the school

    Boards should keep records for a minimum period of 7 years or as otherwise directed.

  • 33

    12. School Internal Controls

    12.1 Internal controls are defined as the whole system of controls, financial and otherwise,

    established by the Board in order to carry on the affairs of the school in an orderly and

    efficient manner, to ensure adherence to Board and Department policies, safeguard

    school assets and to secure as far as possible the completeness and accuracy of the

    school records and returns to the Department.

    12.2 It is the responsibility of the Board to decide the extent of the internal control system that

    is appropriate to the school.

    12.3 The main controls are:

    Segregation of duties. This is to ensure that no one individual has complete control over all aspects of the cash cycle i.e. receipts and payments. This reduces the risk of

    intentional manipulation or error.

    Physical controls limiting access to assets, school recording systems and bank accounts.

    Authorisation and approval by an appropriate person of all transactions. The limits in this regard should be specified by the Board.

    There should be procedures to ensure that staff members have the capacity to perform the tasks assigned and receive appropriate training. Staff should also be

    formally made aware of their obligations towards the Board, in particular,

    maintaining confidentiality in relation to school business and the avoidance of

    conflicts of interests in relation to the supply of goods and services to the school.

    Job procedures and descriptions for administrative staff in their respective roles should be fully documented and should be reviewed periodically to bring them up to

    date. A contingency arrangement should be put in place for staff absences to

    minimise the loss in operational functionality in the school.

    The work of school staff should be supervised and checked by a person not directly involved in a task i.e. the Principal or other nominee of the Board authorised to carry

    out an independent check.

    The Board should ensure that access to the school office is monitored and all valuables, including cash and confidential files/documentation are secured

    appropriately and accessible by designated staff only.

    Boards should set-up and operate a Finance Sub-Committee of the Board of Management to monitor school systems and school finances more closely.

    12.4 It is recognised that schools may find it difficult to maintain a high degree of segregation

    of duties. In such circumstances, the most effective form of control is the close

    involvement of management in overseeing the financial affairs of the school. The Board

    should as a minimum receive and inspect financial reports that show the schools

  • 34

    performance against budget on a regular basis. Material variations should be queried and

    explanations furnished.

    12.5 A finance committee is a sub committee of the Board of Management established to

    carry out the duties assigned to it by the Board within stated terms of reference. Such a

    committee can be of major assistance to both the Principal and the Board.

    In order to establish a finance committee, the Board needs to formally agree:

    terms of reference and functions to be performed by the committee.

    membership of the committee this should ideally comprise the Principal and two nominees of the Board. On occasions, the Board may also wish to invite a non-Board

    member to sit on such a committee.

    tenure of office.

    reporting arrangements with the Board.

    Sample terms of reference are as outlined at Appendix 3 to the Manual. It is not

    envisaged that this type of Committee should add significantly to school overheads.

    12.6 The Board is responsible for ensuring the integrity of the On Line Claims System

    (OLCS) at school level and should formally approve the roles of school personnel

    involved in the OLCS.

    A short report should be read into the minutes of every Board of Management meeting

    listing the names of all substitutes and part-time teachers for whom claims have been

    made on the OLCS system since the last board meeting.

    Boards should fully comply with the provisions of Circular 24/2013 (Operational

    Guidelines for Boards of Management and staff designated to operate the On Line

    Claims System in recognised Primary and Post Primary schools).

    12.7 The Board of Management should implement a system in the school for recording and

    monitoring absences including annual leave and sick leave of non teaching staff. Boards

    of Management are responsible for the recording of absences of teachers and special

    needs assistants on the OLCS.

    12.8 The Board of Management should implement a timesheet or similar electronic system

    for recording the hours of attendance of clerical and maintenance staff.

    12.9 The Board of Management should note that employers are subject to inspection by the

    National Employment Rights Authority and in this regard should be aware of their

    obligations to ensure compliance with employment rights legislation. The following

    document on the National Employment Rights Authority website will be of assistance.

  • 35


    12.10 In the sections which follow, the more important control considerations for each of the

    main transaction streams and other matters are outlined.

  • 36

    13. Purchasing

    13.1 The Board must establish a set of procedures governing purchasing and should set out

    the arrangements for buying, receipt of goods and accounting, compliant with public

    procurement guidelines, regulation and policy.

    13.2 A purchasing policy needs to strike a balance between quality and cost, as the cheapest is

    not always the best, and between cost-effective bulk purchasing and inefficient

    overstocking. Registers of known suppliers must be built up for frequently required

    items but occasional comparative checks must be made with prices of other suppliers.

    13.3 Government Procurement: The Office of Government Procurement (OGP) was set up in

    2013 to optimise value for money across the public service. This office secures savings

    in the purchase of services and materials by public bodies through centralised tendering.

    As our schools receive more than 50% of funding from Government we are regarded as

    public bodies and subject to Department of Public Expenditure and Reform circulars on

    the issue.

    Schools will be notified of the relevant information emanating from the OGP pertaining

    to Education and schools. The process will be outlined and explained in detail through

    DES circulars with additional information on the practical supports needed being

    delivered by ACCS e.g. : Photocopying and Multi-Purpose Office Paper Contract. See

    Info Bulletin 21/13 on ACCS website.

    13.4 As an integral strand of the Governments overall reform programme for public

    procurement - the Schools Procurement Unit (SPU) has been established within the JMB

    Secretariat of Secondary Schools. The Schools Procurement Unit (SPU) acts as the

    central coordinating function for procurement for all schools including schools in the

    Community and Comprehensive (C & C) sector. The SPU has responsibility for issue of

    guidelines for all schools and will have a central role in communicating procurement

    requirements and opportunities to schools, driving and measuring compliance to central

    contracts and managing procurement data across the school sectors.

    Information on SPU is contained on the JMB website


    13.5 For Goods & Services not covered by the OGP, evaluation of proposals from third

    parties must take place to establish:

    That the proposal is of clear benefit to the school. That the expenditure on the proposal will represent value for money. That the proposal does not expose the school to any undue financial or other risk. That the third party has the capacity to provide the goods and or/services

    concerned. In this regard, thorough and robust due diligence must be undertaken

    prior to entering into a contract.

    13.6 Boards must take reasonable steps to satisfy themselves that suppliers and contractors

    engaged are reputable and competent and are registered with the Revenue authorities in

    the State.

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    13.7 In the case of all public sector contracts of a value of 10,000 (inclusive of VAT) or

    more within any 12 month period, the contractor (and agent as appropriate) will be

    required either to

    Produce a current tax clearance certificate, or, Demonstrate a satisfactory level of subcontractor tax compliance

    See links to Revenue website:

    Revised procedures for Tax Clearance in respect of Public Service Contracts,

    Grants, Subsidies and similar type payments. (Department of Finance Circulars 43/2006)

    updated 26th July 2012

    Guidelines for Tax Clearance (July 2016)

    eTax Clearance FAQs (July 2016)

    See Appendix 4 for further details on Circular 43/2006.

    13.8 With effect from January 2012, new requirements were introduced by the Revenue

    Commissioners in relation to the operation of Relevant Contracts Tax (RCT). RCT is a

    tax regime applicable to construction contracts in which tax is deducted by a principal

    contractor from payments due to a contractor for construction operations. School Boards

    of Management are regarded as Principal Contractor. This means that the Board of

    Management undertaking works funded by the Department will be responsible for

    complying with RCT requirements and VAT returns when making payments to their

    Contractor. All filings and notifications must be done online through the Revenue Online

    System (ROS).

    A Guidance Note (August 2016) for Boards of Management outlining the responsibilities

    of the Board in relation to RCT and VAT is contained on the Revenue Commissioners

    web-site. In order to ensure compliance Boards should access the relevant related

    information on the following link. (See Appendix 5 also)

    Guidance Note Boards of Management -Relevant Contracts Tax/Value Added Tax

    13.9 All purchases excluding routine items such as telephone, ESB and petty cash purchases

    should be made on foot of an approved order certified by the Principal. Pre-numbered

    triplicate order books should be used for this purpose. Purchase orders should be

    completed in triplicate and signed off as approved by the Principal in all cases. The

    original purchase order should be forwarded to the relevant supplier, the second copy

    should be associated with the invoices relating to the goods received and the third should

    remain in the purchases order book.

    13.10 Competitive tendering procedures as described in Section 14 below should always be

    used for the purchase of goods and services.

  • 38

    13.11 Tendering procedures must also apply in the case of once off purchases, see Section 14,

    paragraph 14.3

    13.12 It is accepted that in respect of certain services (e.g. electrical, plumbing) which are

    required regularly and often at short notice that it may be more practical to select

    one/two contractor(s) whose services are called upon as required without the need to

    seek advance quotations for each task. In these cases, periodic comparison of prices and

    quality of service between a number of contractors in the area will suffice.

    13.13 A file containing evidence of the tendering and quotation procedures actually followed

    must be retained for inspection if required.

    13.14 Other considerations are:-

    procedures for issuing and authorising orders safekeeping of order books special requirements in relation to the authorisation of major purchases. assignment of responsibilities for checking suppliers invoices and statements,

    goods returned, maintaining records and authorising invoices for payment.

    the need to check individual invoices both as regards quantity and pricing before being authorised for payment. Checking would involve examination and cross

    referencing of the invoice to the purchase order, goods delivery note, evidence as

    to quantity and the condition of goods delivered and evidence that service has been

    supplied to a satisfactory standard.

    13.15 Board members and all other staff with responsibility for purchasing/procurement must

    complete an annual Declaration of Interests form Appendix 6. A register of interests

    should be maintained by the Board of Management in order to avoid conflicts of interest


    13.16 It is recommended that an overall quotation, rather than an hourly rate, be sought from

    any service provider. All payments for travel costs should be calculated on the basis of

    distance travelled rather than on time spent.

  • 39

    14. Procurement Procedures

    14.1 Central frameworks and contracts are available from the Office of Government

    Procurement (OGP) and should be used in preference to undertaking individual

    procurement exercises. The Schools Procurement Unit is available to support and advise

    in procurement matters.

    14.2 Competitive tendering should be standard procedure in the procurement process of

    schools. The Board should ensure that there is an appropriate focus on good practice in

    purchasing and that procedures are in place to ensure compliance with procurement

    policy and guidelines.

    It is the responsibility of the Board of Management to satisfy itself that the requirements

    for public procurement are adhered to and to be fully conversant with the current value

    thresholds for the application of EU and national procurement rules.

    In this regard, EU directives and national regulations impose legal obligations in regard

    to advertising and the use of objective tendering procedures for awarding contracts

    above certain value thresholds. See or for more


    Information on procurement policy and general guidance on procurement matters is

    published by the Office of Government Procurement. This can be viewed or downloaded

    from the national public procurement website

    14.3 The thresholds that apply for procurement are as follows (January 2014);

    Less than 5,000 Informal procedure, obtain at least 2 quotes 5,000 to 25,000 Obtain at least 3 written quotes 25,000 to 134,000 Advertise on e-tenders website Above the EU threshold (134,000) advertise on e-tenders and on the Official

    Journal of the EU

    14.4 The Board must determine in advance the tendering procedure to be used in each case. It

    is important that no allegation of impropriety arise during the process either in relation to

    commercial confidence or fair treatment. The procedure must include the following


    Generally, three tenders must be obtained and more than that sought lest all invitations to tender are not accepted.

    The invitation to tender may be issued directly to firms which would be capable of carrying out the contract or supplying the goods and are of good professional


    The invitation should be standard for all firms invited and contain adequate information concerning the scope and nature of the contract. Tenders invitations

    must be based on adequate specifications which must be in generic terms rather

    than in terms of particular brands. It should be clearly indicated that it is a

    condition for the award of the contract that a firm or individual must comply with

    tax clearance procedures where applicable.

    A date for receipt of tenders must be specified.

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    All tenders should be opened together at the date and time set for receipt of tenders. No tender should be opened in advance nor should any tender information

    that may have become available through a casual remark from a supplier for

    example be passed on to others.

    The opening of tenders should take place in the presence of at least three persons designated by the Board for the purpose, one of whom must be the Principal. A

    Finance Committee could also fulfil this function.

    The tax clearance status of a firm should be confirmed before a contract is awarded.

    Tenders received after the closing date should not be opened. Tenders should be evaluated according to the principle of obtaining best value for

    money. Normally, the lowest tender must be accepted but factors such as

    experience, previous performance, quality standards and professional reputation

    should also be taken into account.

    A report of each tendering procedure and reasons for selection in each case should be presented to the Board and minuted. This report together with the tenders

    received must be retained for audit purposes.

    Where it is proposed to accept a tender other than the lowest suitable tender, a proposal to that effect showing the precise reasons for the course intended, must be

    formally put before a meeting of the Board.

    Unsuccessful tenderers should be informed without undue delay if they have been unsuccessful.

    14.5 Government Procurement.

    The Department of Public Expenditure and Reform established the Office of

    Government Procurement (OGP) in 2013. The mission of this office is to deliver

    sustainable procurement savings for the tax payer by optimising value for money across

    the public service. Public service customers will have easy access to a high quality

    procurement service that they have confidence in and procurement staff can provide.

    This office will build on the work of the National Procurement Service which helped to

    secure savings in the purchase of services and material by public bodies through

    centralised tendering. As our schools receive more than 50% of funding from

    Government we are regarded as public bodies and subject to Department of Public

    Expenditure and Reform circulars on the issue.

    The new procurement operating model for Public Service has been agreed by

    Government. When this is operational the Public Service will speak with one voice for

    each category of expenditure. Common goods and services will be sourced under the

    OGP, formed from resources who will come together from across the civil and public

    service. Health, Education, Local Government and Defence will each retain a sector

    procurement function to procure sector-specific categories. Customer Departments and

    Agencies will continue with non-sourcing aspects of procurement.

    Schools will be notified of the relevant information emanating from the office of

    Government Procurement pertaining to Education and schools. The process will be

    outlined and explained in detail through DES circulars with additional information on

    the practical supports needed being delivered by ACCS.

    See also Section 13.3 on Purchasing and 13.4 on the Schools Procurement Unit.

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    15. Stock Control

    15.1 Stock refers to class materials and other consumable goods.

    15.2 The Board must establish and maintain an adequate system of stock control with the

    objective of ensuring that stocks of class materials and other consumables held are

    adequately protected against loss or misuse. This must include procedures for:-